The Language of Content

Articles from the Speak Agent team that provide classroom resources, implementation strategies, research-based perspectives, and updates regarding our Content+LanguageSM platform.

Product Update - June 2020

June 02, 2020 | Katie Cunningham |

Speak Agent version 1.12.1 added several new beta activities and features that will be fully released during the Back to School timeframe.

Math Puzzle Maker (BETA)

math-puzzle-solver-screenshotThis new math activity is designed for grades 3-8. It enables students to create word problems and other math puzzles for their classmates to solve. Student-generated problems, as opposed to the usually worked examples, are an effective, research-based strategy. After teacher approval, each puzzle is randomly assigned to a classmate. The classmate can solve the puzzle, rate it, and compare answers with the puzzle creator. Once the final version of Math Puzzle Maker is released this summer, we will be sharing a lot more detail on how to use this strategy in the classroom.

Scrambled Words (BETA)

Scrambled Words is a morphology activity that's perfect for emerging and struggling readers. It breaks words (and compound words) into "chunks" that students reassemble. The current beta activity breaks down target words by syllable. A future enhancement will also do this for affixes.

Lesson Reports (BETA)

lesson-report-screenshotThe Lesson Reports are a new type report that tracks student progress and performance for each Speak Agent lesson. The top section of the report shows specifically which activities have been completed within a lesson, displays scores for scored activities, and links to portfolio items, where applicable. The bottom section measures progress toward student mastery of academic concepts and vocabulary. These words and concepts tie into each unit of your curriculum and are measured on the three stages of knowledge in the Speak Agent learning model.

Dual Language Indicators

SPA-iconFRA-icon Lessons that provide content in Spanish and French are now flagged for students to easily differentiate them.

Read Alongs Library

This feature enables teachers to contribute Read Along activities to a searchable library. Likewise, teachers may easily find and use any publicly accessible Read Along in any Speak Agent lesson they create.

Coming Soon

The final versions of the above new beta features, as well as the following new enhancements, will launch soon for Back to School:

  • New Visual Reading Aids are launching this summer. These include our Lights Out dimming feature, highlighting, and other tools for readers of all ages.
  • Explain Your Work is undergoing a major expansion. We are adding two new levels to provide a scaffolded learning experience that starts with sentence frames, moves to sentence stems, and then writing.
  • We will be announcing other major new features during the Back to School timeframe. Stay tuned!

listeningAs always, if you have ideas about how we can improve Speak Agent, please contact us. 
We are listening!

Katie Cunningham

Written by Katie Cunningham

Katie is CTO and Co-Founder of Speak Agent, Inc. A leading expert in the Python programming language, Katie designed the Speak Agent architecture and wrote the very first line of code for the current platform. She is an accomplished technical author and keynote speaker worldwide, as well as a leader of the Washington DC chapter of PyLadies, an organization dedicated to training women in Python.